UAE nuclear program gains momentum

Updated 24 April 2014

UAE nuclear program gains momentum

With an ambition to generate up to 25 percent of its electricity needs — or 5.6GW — through nuclear means by 2020 nuclear energy has gained momentum in the UAE.
The peaceful nuclear power program has been going ahead with various initiatives.
The related government departments, has been running programs to educate the public while the body responsible for the project has started recruiting talented Emiratis in different positions.
The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) hosted a public forum in Dubai to provide a better insight into their mission, vision and core values to the public.
William Travers, FANR’s director-general, explained the authority’s role in the nuclear power program and its responsibilities in regulating and licensing radioactive materials and radiation sources used in medicine, research, oil exploration and other industries.
A number of residents, officials from government and private organizations participated in the event.
Mariyam Fathima, an Emarati house-wife, told Arab News that the public forum was useful as it provided accurate information about the peaceful nuclear program .
“Clean and efficient nuclear energy is a must for the future and the authority should conduct such awareness programs in every nook and corner of the country,” she said while talking Arab News after the event.
“The question and answer session was very useful,” she added.
“We are encouraging residents of Dubai to be aware of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear power program and particularly FANR’s independent role in helping to assure nuclear safety, security and safeguards,” said William Travers.
FANR officials explained to the public the Authority’s commitment to the highest standards of safety, security and safeguards, including its licensing of the nuclear power project at Barakah.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, (ENEC), the body responsible for the project, meanwhile, announced that they are seeking to recruit the best and brightest Emiratis to join the UAE’s nuclear energy program.
The UAE is one of 35 countries that have pledged to turn international guidelines on the protection of nuclear materials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) into federal laws.
ENEC is committed to providing safe, reliable, clean and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE and is leading the construction of the first nuclear energy plants, which are located in Barakah, in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
A total of four nuclear energy plants will be constructed by 2020, pending regulatory approvals.
The first two plants are already under construction, with the first plant scheduled to commence commercial operations in 2017, pending further regulatory approvals.
“The UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy program is one of the most ambitious and exciting projects undertaken by the UAE in the last 40 years, and the development of a skilled and dedicated workforce is critical to its success,” Mohamed Al-Hammadi, CEO at ENEC said in a statement e-mailed to Arab News.
He said his department will need around 2,000 employees to operate its four nuclear energy plants by 2020.
Talented Emirati nationals will play an important role in achieving this goal.
Currently, ENEC is participating at UAE Career event in Dubai to recruit UAE nationals.
Last week, ENEC inaugurated its Simulator Training Center, STC, at Barakah .
The new simulators, which are among the world’s most advanced nuclear training devices and the first of their kind in the Middle East, will complement ENEC’s comprehensive training program and help ENEC to prepare its scholarship students to attain Reactor Operator (RO) and Senior Reactor Operator (SRO) certifications.

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

Updated 26 May 2020

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

  • Scandal has already cost firm more than €30 billion; ruling serves as template for about 60,000 cases

KARLSRUHE, Germany: Volkswagen must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost 5 years after its emissions scandal erupted.

The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to return vehicles for a partial refund of the purchase price, serves as a template for about 60,000 lawsuits that are still pending with lower German courts.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating in emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has already cost it more than €30 billion ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the US.

US authorities banned the affected cars after the cheat software was discovered, triggering claims for compensation.

But in Europe vehicles remained on the roads, leading Volkswagen to argue compensation claims there were without merit. European authorities instead forced the company to update its engine control software and fined it for fraud and administrative lapses.

Volkswagen said on Monday it would work urgently with motorists on an agreement that would see them hold on to the vehicles for a one-off compensation payment.

It did not give an estimate of how much the ruling by the German federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), might cost it.

Volkswagen shares were 0.5 percent lower. The BGH’s presiding judge had signaled earlier this month he saw grounds for compensation.

Costs mount

“The verdict by the BGH draws a final line. It creates clarity on the BGH’s views on the underlying questions in the diesel proceedings for most of the 60,000 cases still pending,” Volkswagen said.

A lower court in the city of Koblenz had previously ruled the owner of a VW Sharan minivan had suffered pre-meditated damage, entitling him to reimbursement minus a discount for the mileage the motorist had already
benefited from.

The court at the time said he should be awarded €25,600 for the used-car purchase he made for €31,500 in 2014.

“We have in principle confirmed the verdict from the Koblenz upper regional court,” said BGH presiding federal judge Stephan Seiters.

Volkswagen had petitioned for the ruling to be quashed altogether by the higher court, while the plaintiff had appealed to have the deduction removed.

A Volkswagen spokesman said that outside Germany, more than 100,000 claims for damages were still pending, of which 90,000 cases were in Britain.

The carmaker also said it had paid out a total of €750 million to more than 200,000 separate claimants in Germany who had opted against individual claims and instead joined a class action lawsuit brought by a German consumer group.

The carmaker said last month it would set aside a total of 830 million for that deal.

In a separate court, Volkswagen agreed last week to pay €9 million to end proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of withholding market-moving information before the emissions scandal came to light.